Plot: Bill (Liam Neeson) is a U.S. Air Marshal, a passenger on countless flights to ensure the safe travel of thousands upon thousands of travelers. He is in desperate need of some time off, as he is beyond burned out, but he is still dedicated to his work and keeping people safe. Running on fumes, he boards his latest flight and what should be a routine flight takes an unexpected turn. He begins to receive strange text messages, at first dismissed as a prank, but soon it becomes clear the threats against the passengers could be all too real. Someone claims they will kill a passenger every twenty minutes unless $150 million is placed in an account, an account which turns out to be in Bill’s name, no less. His peers begin to suspect that Bill is behind the situation, so he has to find the real terrorist and clear his name, but with a potential explosive on board, will anyone survive this wild flight?
Entertainment Value: I don’t need much from these Liam Neeson action/thrillers, but even with my reasonable expectations, Non-Stop fails to spark enough entertainment and comes off like a convoluted mess. The movie consists of Neeson asking various people if they’re the terrorist, asking them if they’re sure, not believing them, believing them, then moving to the next passenger. I don’t need immense depth or consistent logic with a movie like this, but some competent twists and common sense at times would have quite welcome. There is some entertainment in just how nonsensical the entire movie is and how little effort was put into the narrative, but with no real tension and limited action, Non-Stop falters in most scenes. Neeson is his usual bad ass self, with a nice thread of slightly deranged at times, as he is pushed to extremes and loses his shit a little here and there. Julianne Moore is fine, but has little to do, while Scoot McNairy, Anson Mount, and Michelle Dockery are also on hand. This is the Liam Neeson show however, as he is front and center throughout. I wanted to like Non-Stop, as I love these Neeson thrillers, but I just couldn’t get into this one.
No nakedness. Bill examines a man’s phone that is filled with creepy pictures of a fellow passenger’s cleavage, but that’s as close as it gets. The movie has frequent violence, but it is mild and action related, so dust ups and scraps, not intense, blood soaked violence by any means. A little blood is visible from time to time, often in small doses and provided by rather low end CGI. There’s also blood on clothes or seen as busted up faces or other wounds, but it is all mild. This is PG-13, so the violence is limited and is never graphic whatsoever. So some action scenes break out and Neeson knocks some heads around, but minimal bloodshed. Neeson has some fun lines and there’s general tough guy talk, but overall the dialogue is passable at best. I think given how ludicrous the narrative is, more dialed up writing and performances could have worked wonders. But Neeson is given a few nice zingers, so there’s that. As for craziness, the total disregard for logic and basic common sense earns a couple points, but otherwise, this falls well within the usual action/thriller conventions.
Overall Insanity: 2/10